South Africa apologises over xenophobic attacks

President Jacob Zuma

South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday in Nairobi tendered an apology to Kenyans, condemning the recent brutal xenophobic attacks that claimed some lives.

Mr. Ramaphosa, who was in Kenya to meet Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, over South Sudan crisis, apologised for the loss of lives.

He addressed thousands of Kenyans during celebrations to mark 52 years of internal self-rule in Nairobi.

The deputy president said his country wants to demonstrate unity as Africans for the continent to prosper.

“I apologise to Kenyans and the rest of Africa for the unfortunate events that recently took place in South Africa,” he said. “We are all one united in the love of our continent.”

One Kenyan was killed in South Africa’s xenophobic rampage in April.

Hassan Stima, a former casual labourer, was said to have been attacked in his house on April 17 in Johannesburg.

A wave of xenophobic attacks against foreign African nationals hit the cities of Durban and Johannesburg in April.

Foreign nationals were accused of taking away jobs and businesses from natives.

Several African governments whose citizens were victims of xenophobic attacks had also threatened to shut down South African owned business operating in those countries.

Mr. Ramaphosa said South Africa would still continue hosting immigrants from other countries.

“We are part of Africa, and we will continue to welcome you to South Africa,” he said. “We want to embrace you and work with you. I welcome Kenyans and the rest of Africa to South Africa, we are sorry for the recent Xenophobia attacks in our country.”

Mr. Ramaphosa, who held talks with President Kenyatta and also attended celebrations in Nairobi, was expected to travel later to Juba in South Sudan to help solidify a political deal there.

Mr. Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the deputy president is the special envoy of South African President, Jacob Zuma, to South Sudan and would be joined by Abdurahman Kinana, the secretary general of Tanzania’s ruling party, Chama Cha Mr. Mapinduzi, as a co-guarantor of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement Reunification Agreement.

The Reunification Agreement was signed in Arusha, Tanzania, earlier this year by various factions of the SPLM.


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